The Other Side of the Tracks
International Business Development and Marketing Strategy
Meeting Santa at slush 2014
Here is my account:
On Sunday the 16th, of November I was to depart for Helsinki, Finland to the High Tech Startup Conference “Slush”. I had been invited by Helsinki Ventures to moderate a couple of panel discussions on business accelerators, and be part of one as well. Slush is the focal point for Eurasian startups and tech talent to meet with top-tier international investors, executives and media. Slush 2014 takes place on November 18-19th in Helsinki, Finland.
My children, Sophia, Owen and Leo, were very sad that I was going to leave for the week. I was down about departing too, but this was not an opportunity I could afford to miss. We decided that we would write a letter to Santa Claus before I left, since Finland is so close to the North Pole. It should be noted that some people think he really lives there anyway.
I sealed the letter in an envelope and kept it in my laptop backpack.
Slush was very busy with about 16,000 people in attendance. At the end of the first day, I bumped into Santa Claus and his elves. They were taking donations for UNICEF. With great pleasure he agreed to take the letter and posed for a picture.
The following day, I moderated my panels for Helsinki Ventures and did all the serious business things I came to do. Unbeknownst to me, the Christmas magic was working behind the scenes as Santa Claus was on social media tweeting that he was looking for me because he had written a response to my children’s letter. Finnish TV also picked it up that
Santa was looking for the father from Minnesota at Slush. I had no clue.
At the very end of the conference, Santa Claus and I found each other again. He gave me the letter back and he wished me a safe journey on my way back to Minnesota.
When I arrived home I read the letter to Sophia, Owen and Leo and they were absolutely thrilled that Santa Claus had written them back and that I really got to meet him.